Ok, so whilst I know it’s not possible to literally turn the clocks back, let’s face it, we live in a culture that’s constantly trying to cheat time. And for dancers that pressure to stay looking young in order to be employable for longer is even more prevalent. Not only that, but we need to keep our bodies dancing young- the flexibility, the energy required to keep a gruelling schedule, the ability to stay injury free- all these things are paramount. Luckily for us, there’s some great ways that science can help, so that we can stay in our peak performance mode as I am a great believer that a dancers age should not count against them doing a job.
So with that in mind, let’s talk how to stay young and dance for longer. Here’s a list of the best anti aging secrets for dancers and performers, because there’s always things you can do to look after your body, and say no to aging.
1. Start Taking A Mitochondrial Function Formula
Our energy production is the number one thing to look at if you want to know how to stay young and dance or perform for longer. Mitochondria are essentially the power houses of our cells. Our body uses 3 main forms of energy production to create ATP (adenotriphosphate) which is in essence what our body uses for fuel. Unfortunately as we age ATP production lessens as our mitochondria actually slow (which is why we tire more easily the more we age.) However, the good news is, that by feeding these little nucleus’ what they need, we can give them what’s required to speed up our energy supply again.
2. Use Cod Liver Oil For Joints
Now that we’ve got our energy under control, it’s also important to make sure we’re taking really good care of our joints. High demand and stretching in extreme positions is not always kind to them, so it’s important we keep them in good working order- we only have one body after all! For this, taking a good cod liver oil supplement is key. Don’t worry, I don’t relish the idea of them either; but as long as you wash them down with plenty of water you shouldn’t experience any lingering aftertaste.
3. Be Mindful Of Injuries
One thing to be really aware of is that you are much more prone to injuries as you age- even for example in your thirties compared to how you are in your twenties. So it’s paramount when looking at how to stay young and dance for longer to address any bad habits, and at the first sign of anything unusual, go and see someone so that you know what you might be doing to cause it. Don’t let it continue as that’s when problems can escalate.
4. Take A Collagen Formula
Skincare time! I mean, isn’t this the bit that everyone wants to know about! Yes, beauty is only skin deep but if we want to know how to stay young and dance for longer then taking care of our looks is something that’s for better or worse expected in the industry. So what miracle anti-aging formulas are there? Well when it comes to skincare, I’m a firm believer in treating both the inside and the outside. As we age, our skin loses elasticity (with collagen decreasing by 1% a year, alarming I know!) Collagen is responsible for the renewal of cells so it’s a pretty important friend to have around. Not only that, but it’s also pretty important in terms of connective tissue and keeping our bones strong. Therefore, taking a special collagen formula every day is really a no brainer.
5. Make Retinol Your New Best Friend
Now for the outward appearance of fine lines and wrinkles: enter Retinol. Retinol is seen by most as the miracle worker of skincare, the reason being that it slows down the body’s aging process, hooray! Cell turnover decreases by up to half from mid 30’s onwards, however retinol encourages cell turnover, tricking your body and helping to defy the body’s natural aging process. A few notes on retinol; it is pretty strong, so it’s best to start light and then you can work your way up to something a bit more intense. It’s also incredibly important that you wear some form of sunscreen all year round if you have made retinol part of your skincare regime. This is because retinol quite literally accelerates the development of new skin cells and these new cells are of course more sensitive! So know that you’ll need more protection from the sun, and make sure you apply it every day, even in winter. Also, you may want to increase in increments to a higher strength over time. This is because retinol may become a little less effective over time, which simply means you can move to a stronger strength. But don’t worry, regardless- it will always work.
6. Add In Matrixyl 3000
Hailed as the new Botox, another skincare bestie you are not going to want to be without is matrixyl 3000. This is one the skin care world has thrown a party about, and with good reason. For those who haven’t heard of it, Matrixyl 3000 is a type of peptide. Peptides encourage skin cells to fulfill particular functions— and this particular one is key in the making of what our cells need to look younger- collagen and elastin. Not only does matrixglad encourage the replenishment of collagen, it can also improve texture and firmness, as well as decreasing the appearance of already formed fine lines and wrinkles. With this one, be sure you have got the right concentration, as too little proves ineffective. It is also worth combining use with hyaloronic acid which helps it absorb into the skin more deeply.
7. Make Face Yoga A Habit
I know, it sounds a little out there. But this works, if you’re willing to put in necessary time and energy. The reason for this, is just like every other part of your body, your face contains muscles. As we get older, it’s a well-known fact that the skin starts to sag and become thinner, so toning the facial muscles not only helps the face look lifted, more toned and therefore fuller (mimicking the effects of youth) but also is handy lessening the appearance of fine lines.
8. Stretch Daily
This one may seem obvious, but as we age, our joints can become stiffer, so if you want to be able to keep doing what you’ve always done, keep to stretching once a day.
9. Get Plenty Of Zzzzzzz
Not getting enough sleep is one of the fastest things that can age us. This is because it will physically make your cells age quicker. But also, the more we exercise, the more you have to counterbalance it by getting MORE sleep. So as a dancer, this is a no brainer. You need the energy, so give your body some extra TLC; sleep for an hour longer than you think you need.
Take Vitamin B12
As we know, the body struggles to make as much energy as it ages. But vitamin B12 is key in the formation of red blood cells which help to convert your food supply into energy, therefore making sure a B12 supplement is part of your regime can be a pretty great way to make sure you stay energised and in a peak performance state.
Doing everything on this list may seem a little overwhelming. That’s OK! Take what resonates and leave the rest. For habits to be successful the most important thing is that we can feasibly work them into our time and schedule without getting overwhelmed. To be thorough, it’s important to cover all bases- focusing on what’s happening inside out as well as outside in; so If nothing else, take care of your energy levels and collagen production and you’ll be standing yourself in good stead. I hope you’ve found some useful advice on how to stay young and dance and perform for longer, and as always any questions, or if you want further recommendations, drop me a comment below 🙂